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Blankets and More Blankets

We certainly had a busy weekend around the retirement farm. One of the more fun parts was welcoming our most recent new arrivals. Our

I also break out the sheets and blankets if it is supposed to be windy. Although I probably greatly exaggerate the effects of it in my mind, it would seem that the wind would really interfere with the loft in their coats and make it harder to stay warm. A lot of farms will not blanket horses that are not in a stall. I understand why because it is a huge pain. First you have to get the blankets to the pastures, and more importantly to wherever the horses happen to be in the pasture. Secondly, the horses are not standing in their stalls with nowhere to go while you put their blankets on, they can leave or choose not to be caught if they don’t wish to participate. We usually try to do all of our blanketing and un-blanketing in conjunction with feeding times. That way the horses are near the gate, occupied with eating and are not moving around.

Jason was convinced he saw a mouse in the shed. He stands here ready for battle with a huge stick in one hand and a rock in the other. Sadly this picture was not posed!

My next step in preparation for blanketing season will be to re-waterproof a few of the blankets. In my experience when the blankets start to lose their waterproofing you can usually do a good re-proofing with Nikwax and that will get you one more season out of them. What I have found is after that the re-proofing just does not hold anymore. Thus a few of the horses had to have some of their clothes replaced this year. I do attempt to re-waterproof their old clothes with the Nikwax so I can use them as a back-up for them if needed. I have also heard of a lot of people using Thompson’s Water Seal to re-proof blankets as well. I’ve never tried this myself so if anyone has share your experiences. In fact share anything you have found that works for re-waterproofing!

The blankets were hung in the shed with care in hopes that winter would not soon be there

My last step in preparation for blanketing season will be to order several pairs of replacement leg straps. Inevitably the hardware fails or the straps get broken on the rear leg straps of a few blankets. I always try to have a few replacements on hand. I am absolutely not handy with a thread and needle so any big repairs like broken surcingles have to be handled by the wonderful person who does blanket cleaning and repair for us. Hopefully now that I am ready to go we won’t need the blankets for a long time!

Leo; Leo is a Dutch Warmblood who showed through 4th level dressage before beginning a very successful career in the hunters

Norman and Sparky in the front and Traveller in the back; too bad the sun was at the wrong angle for this picture.

Levendi; Levendi is an Oldenburg and retired from the hunter ring due to complications from arthritis in his neck

Chance and Homer; Chance is a Thoroughbred and Homer is an Irish bred gelding. Both are retired from the hunters.

L-R Apollo, Ivan and Levendi. Apollo is a Hanoverian who is retired from a dressage career due to EPM. Ivan is a Thoroughbred and retired from Grand Prix jumping due to arthritis.

Two of my girls grooming each other, Bridget and Sky.

Ogie and B-Rad walking through the pasture. Ogie is a Thoroughbred and retired from three day eventing. B-Rad is a Belgian Warmblood and retired from the jumpers.

Asterik trotting towards me. Asterik is a Holsteiner and won at the biggest shows in both the hunters and the jumpers, not many horses can do double duty like that successfully. Unfortunately he stepped on a nail at a horse show and it went through the collateral ligament of one of his front hooves.

Trillion and Winston; Trillion is a Dutch Warmblood and retired show hunter. He was nationally ranked in the Regular Working Hunters (4′ hunters) and circuit champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Winston is a Thoroughbred and retired from the hunter ring as well.

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